ATP Finals: Wawrinka out-hits Murray, to reach semi vs. Federer

Stanislas Wawrinka


FROM THE ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS IN LONDON — When Stan Wawrinka starts well enough, he is in it. Even though he was a bit shaky at the end, he overcame Andy Murray 7-6(4) 6-4 to reach the semis against Roger Federer. The 30-year-old Swiss was more aggressive and his one-handed backhands were authoritative. Both players went toe-to-toe with their spinning forehands. In the end, Wawrinka’s first serve was heavier.

Murray was fairly enthusiastic, but he was angry with himself, not able to hit his groundies deep so he could come into the net. He was down 2-5 and two breaks in the second set, but he kept trying while Wawrinka almost disappeared for a few minutes. Murray had a huge chance, he had two break points at 4-5, and he couldn’t go further, so he destroyed his racket. Shortly after, his ball went wide and Wawrinka had moved on, quite happily.

The Scot finished with 22 winners and 30 unforced errors, while Wawrinka finished with 27 winners and 29 unforced. Good enough.

For the No. 2 Murray, he has way too many errors and that cost him, dearly.

“I’m not trying to take anything away from Stan. He serves big. At certain points in the match, he was hitting the ball very hard off both sides, playing sort of high-risk tennis, making a lot of winners,” Murray said.
“There was a period in the middle of the second set where he played extremely well, a lot of passing shots, hitting clean winners onto the line. There’s not much I can do about that obviously.

“Sometimes when you’re playing against the best players in the world, they can play great tennis. Just from my side on the important moments right now, I’m a bit disappointed with how I played them. If he had hit clean winners or played great points at 4-2 in the tiebreak, you come in and you say he was too good at that moment. But in the tiebreak, I made bad mistakes at the wrong time.”

Last year at the ATP Finals, Wawrinka and Federer met each other in the semifinals and put together an amazing match, with Federer winning 4-6 7-5 7-6(6). The two were so tired Saturday that Federer decided not to play at the final, largely because they wanted to play in the Davis Cup next week (which they won).

This time, they will go all out again. Wawrinka blasted him at Roland Garros in the quarters, while Federer took him in the semis at the US Open. Federer is favored, but slightly.

“He’s playing really well. It’s tough to play indoor, especially World Tour Final, he is always fit, always ready,” Wawrinka said. “Last year was an opportunity to beat him, didn’t took them.
Let’s see, I had a tough match now, two hours’ match with a lot of pressure. I also feel quite tired. I’m going to be focused on that, try to rest, try to recover and be ready for hopefully a good match.”

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